My Indian Diary
February 2th 2012 Last weekend we went to Delhi for the famous art fair, some 4 days we spent at that place, where amused and surprised, wondering and gazing through this rich display, that was given by various galleries from India and abroad. It is my thirt visit and i have to confess, that I wasn't such overwelmed as i felt the second last visits. It was somehow business as usual, all the enthusiastics, that was spread around the times before was gone and even the exhibitors seemed to be a bit borring or at least had forlorn their pioneerness.
After that, I travelled towards Himachal Pradesh, in search of a famous ski event. I was in Solang Nullah for a few days, explored the virgin powder and was a bit shocked about the dirthy surrounding, it was all gharabb there and the footpad toward the Shivling temple was covered by human excrements. That was dificult to walk on, because one has to manage carfully that one do not fall on all this shitness.
Back on Delhi's airport I sat just on the same bench as Anna Hazare, our famous indian new born Ghandian, first wondering, why such muxh people gathered around I became suddenly aware of the incident and felt by myself a bit proud about that encounter!
January 16th 2012 Just back in India, I'm travelling with friends through Gujarat. It is a deserted and somehow raw landscape, but you will find allmost everywhere some fine embroyderies and handycraft work. The cloths are colourful and rich crafted, it seems that this raw surounding animates to make some precious works. In Bhuj I visited an old Maharaja palace, due the earthquake in 2001 this building was somehow destroyed and looked rusty and dusty. the main structure was still there but ceilings, walls and furnitures were in a desperate state. One old woman gazed around with a dustcleaner and makes some effords to do the housework. Useless to do such things but she matched totally to that strange picture. I love my India, will never miss it!
December 12th 2011 Last Friday we were invited for a houseconcert, that was given by my Bombay gallerist Geetu here in Pune. Wondering, what would exspect me I was confident, that it would work somehow. We were invited to a privat house and in a very warm athmosphere some 20 people gathered in a small hall, sitting on the diwans and on the floor. And then, the lady began with her excellent voice, at the beginning I was shivering whether it could be may be a painful event but was suddenly struck by her marvellous voice. This lady sung in such a forceful voice that indeed I had to confess that she was much more better than Joan Baez, or at least a new Indian Baez.
A very unexspected and thatfor richful evening. Afterwards we went to the Sawai Gandawar, the annual Pune classical Hiindutva music festival. That was by very contrast but was outstanding as well. Some 4 violin stringed ladies together with a tabbla beater gave a such a good concert what I've never heard before. Pune in its music attidude was as good as it was richful.
November 14th 2011 No news are there.
September 27 2011 Some new works are given to be done to my sculptor, who knows exactly how I like to have this things be prepared. I'm trying to do few samples to imagine, how it comes when we will blow up it as some huge inflatables. Not easy to work in such a monumental way, when you only can do the sketchs and have to trust completely to the skills of labourers. But half desi as I am at that time, i know more or less how to handle in that particular situation. No big words are requierd, no big gestures are asked for, only a stringent and strict regime has to be followed of a good salary. I'll do that without any scruple but always fond of doing my work by myself in my studios in Switzerland.
September 26th 2011 Just back from Bombay where we saw some shows and sat in the fabulous Taj Mahal for the five-o-clock tea and a distinctiv behaviour. It is a very pleasure to view the sunset over the Arabian sea, to see the Gateway of India and to feel the very orientalistic mood, that lays over that scenery. Just few steps away, you will find a completely different Bombay, full of rubbish and a smell of garbage and fish around, beggars and citizens at the sam place. That is as well my Bombay how I like it and admire it. I would really like to live there.
August 15th 2011 Today we have to celebrat indian independent day, as long as 64 years the indians built up the biggest ever seen democracy, as per indian definition.
Last week, I went to Bombay, to participate for the inauguration by Lakeeren gallery as a mayor "intellectual hub". It was given a speech about feminism and darshan, a very indian concept of philosophie and religion. Interesting, how strange it sounds for me to mix up such different subjects and interesting, how engaged the participants shared their ideas. As a conclusion, they agreed, that they have to continue with the very ideas of Simone Beauvoir and her concept of the second sexe. As a gender researcher, I was wondering about this turn but will continue to follow this very indian feminism thinking.
August 9th 2011 After long, I'm back in India, was in Germany for short teaching, went back to Switzerland for urgent works and now back in the rainy, wet and cold indian summer. Even during the day, we have to wear some woolen cloths. The muddy streets don't invite for long walkings through the city, because everything is slimy and grubby. No matter, i go my way always by Ambassador, wearing my shiny maharani shoes, packed with my pinkish umbrella from Darjeeling and knowing exactly, what my dearest of all my daugthers would think about!
After all, I'm also very busy at the moment, all my administration work has to be done in my globalised office, that contains exactly two files whom i carry all along whit me. My dear Sonabhai down stairs in her airy office, containing two big dustbins with all our rubbish from the hole society, is much more professional equipped than me. She lives in the nearby slum surrounded by her 7 stray dogs, must be at least about 70, cames every day to collect our garbish and works in the covered place as a wast picker. When she is sitting there, it looks like a office bar, where she takes and gives the requierd items. Some times, when I put some dirty stuff, I'm shiffering a bit, but, in fact, that is a very european habit, nobody cares about such sentiments. It is just a job and he has do be done.
June 28th 2011 The sculpture, showing at the Show last year in Bombay, was delivered back to Pune today. Unfortunatelly, no customer was there to give any interest to buy that thing, so the gallerist decided to send the work back. What likes an artist more then to take back a unloved work? May be that he or she can get the work back and to admire it . But how can one survives without any sellings, without any single rupee given?
On the other hand, the delivering itself was once more a big deal. Here in India, you have so many labourers and helpers and advisers and even the handlings of such precious work is it worth to take it back . It is always a big efort to be done for nothing, we would say in Europ, many people gather around the place and try to give a hand for mostly no use. On the end, the sculpture is in my hall back, nice to have it back and to enjoy it just by myself.
May 24th 2011 "Hybrid World “ Is a body of work, done in India for the last 3 years, most influenced by the enormous sculptural works, that surround me daily, on the streets, in the temples, deep inside of farmer houses, where you never would expect such precious sculptures. India is more than a collecting space, it is a big huge salad bowl, full of different ingredients, every single item clearly visible, together a powerful desi garam masala! I’m in the middle of it, no way out, you’ll never escape, once you fell through the shiny, coloured, glitzy indian surface. I’m between and in the middle of nowhere, right on the edge and deeply rooted in the center. This habits leaks through my work. I will always win.
Kya houa? artist he? or artificial kaam karnekeliye, kya, kya ha - do leberer or me, Lilian Madem. Abhi adhi desi he, islie thora personel kaam karnekeliye, lekkin ful disein karnekeliye!
May 23th 2011 Monday morning in Pune, early waking up due to noise from the air conditoner of our neighbour, why do they let rattle it the full night? It is not so hot at the moment, a cool breeze is coming from the arabian sea and it feels as a natural cooling system. But it seems, that expats have to use every single item that they could gather in theyr luxury flats. But of course, some of our Indian neighbour use this tools as well and freezes up their apartament as a glacier in our swiss mountains.
I should do some works but feel not able to do so. This indian habit, to sit down with a cup of tea, to lay down and to have a nap, seems to overcome me as well. In every afternoon you will hear the aircooler only and then you know for shure, that the ladies are having the nap or what they do elsemore. I like to use this time to make my studies, it is no better time to work as when everibody seems to have the afternoon nap. And then at around 6 pm, the ladies and the elderlies came down to the ground, chatting and gossiping until 7 pm, until the indian night falls in suddenly.
April 14th 2011 Today is Ambedkar day, the highest choutti for the dalits, the untouchables. Dr. Ambedkar gave them the faith into themselfs, the idea of a powerful communitiy and the self-consciousness of a humaness. And they enjoy it and celebrate it as Indians only are able to do so, in any caste and any class!
April 1th 2011 Morning rise in India, earlier as usual, I was on my way to the gym, in full speed I drove with my Ambassador through the empty streets of Pune and reached in no time. Many glossy cars stood there, driven from the proper driver , they will wait for masters and mistresses. Above in the gym, the often overfatted athlets do their work out, loud and exhausted the males, proper and well dressed the females. Even I will put fat on my silhouette, you can't avoid it.
March 31th 2011 A hot, sunny afternoon lies behind me, I was out for a drink at the new Hyatt at the outskirts of Pune, not that I would prefer such places, but if you like to be connected with the expat community, it seems that you have to go through such upper middle class dreams. But interestingly, the foreigners are mostly from some lower backgrounds, they make a big effort at class climbing but their behaviour is often in a bad manner. How can one change and adopt some proper habit if one does not have any idea about? Ok, me as an artist, i do not care about that so much. But I try to be like a chameleon, and sometimes I behave as Sita Devi and disappear through the ground.
Jan. 31th 2011 Just back from Kashmir, where I've had a great time by skiing, chatting and socializing. My dear kashmiri mens were wondering, why a white madam is coming solo for skiing, but where quit kind to help and support all my desires. And even two white Madams of Calcutta where there and we have had a great time by share our impressions about indian life and customs. Of course, one of them was a quit religious lady, interesting, how intensiv the church is working over the whole world and out of my leisure time, I would'nt agree with many of here ideas. But there in Kahmir, in the heart of the fightings over freedom and independence, ( and I have to confess, I'm not shure, whether I would support this fight) I was mild and interested in here ideas as well! The other lady's name is Gundel, amazing, how strange they name their children in Germany! I would like to share more time with here, because she seems to be a lady of intellect and of a good thinking. Pity, that she is living so fare away and that we have no such perls in our expat community.
Before, I've spent my weekend in Delhi and visited the Indian Art Summit, the biggest art fair of India. Many indian galleries and even some important galleries from Europ showed their prestigious work to the public. We joined the art speeches and met some people and over all, it was interesting to see, how growing the indian art market seem to be.
Here in Pune is the weather quit nice. It was horrible cold in Kashmir and no heating system was there. So I really enjoy the warmness and the gazing sun over here. Some works have to be finished and some agreements should be done!
Dec. 12th 2010 Last night, we went to the Swarai Music Night Utsav, a high important music event, held every year at winter time here in Pune. It was quit cold to sit outside, to hear the amazing sound of masterji Shivkumar Sharma. I was impressed about the audience, the lots and lots of people, young and old, from deep backwarts to very high class people, our right wing populist Raj Thakeray as well as many not so known local politicus. Interesting, how deep the people go with the music and the musicians. A quit good experiment.
Nov. 29th 2010 It was a bad waking up in the sunny morning, I saw in the indian news paper the news about Switzerland, even the Indians are curious about our political strangeness. How shall one stay in a country, where he or she can only due the passport, would she or he be a foreigner and would she do some unordinary, she or he would be brought out of the country immedately.
Now, we have a quite straight regime in our Switzerland, built by the own people, but guided and used by the heavy right wing party SVP.
Nov. 28th 2010 After a long weekend in Bombay, I'm just back in Pune. Sunday night on the terrace, we have had a candle light dinner, because no light was there, but the romantic was given by the way!
My long exspected opening with The Fine Art Company was held on Friday, unfortunately I've missed it, because was delayed in Dubai, was waiting for hours, and when I reached Bombay, just in time to the opening hour, I was aware, that I never would reach the exihibition hall in time. You need hours to come down from the airport to Colaba, and at 10 pm we just were at our hotel and could'nt do nothing. It seems that this is India, because some other artists have had the same situation as well. Yesterday we have had the paneel discussion in Max Muller Bhavan, some awful statements about personal art work, but, my favorit Sonia Khurana has made a speech as I like it very much, no big words, simple intelligent statements about her extraordinary filmy work. Afterwards, a party was given at Lakeeren, a new gallery space in Bombay. A young gallerist is doing a quite good work. Anita Dube was showing her textual work, more then the work body I was fascinated about the display, it must be the approach of this curatorial lady Arshya. On a first glimpse, she have made the work much more better than our lady in the Coomaraswamy hall, it is a common western way, as she has done the hanging and the settings. We on the other hand, have a totally indian hanging and setting of the art works and skulptures. Raw wires are hanging from the ceiling and hold on the pictures, the sculptures are all in one line and it seems, that no interaction between the works will be exspected. But, I asked myself, the works, that she has choosen, are quite good so could it also be, that I'm realy confused about our western way, how we have to do a display. So, on the end of the day, I'm not realy shure about my jugdes of the indian curators.
Oct. 31th 2010 A lazy sunday afternoon was exspected as always on sunday, families go to their favorit eating places, have a meal together, chat and make fun. No laziness in my house, we have still to work on, sculptures will be packed, small works painted and glued, so many things to do. On the terrace is it hot as in a swiss summer afternoon, at home it must be cold and dark at this time, I love it to stay here in my India.
Yesterday evening was a invitation on our roof top, all our indian neighbours and we where invitated from a neighbour family. Sitting and chatting is separeted between the sexes, ladies and gents seat separately and have their own fun. Afterwards in the bed room, will be the space to speak between the partners and to interchange the news. Interesting how the food is served, first comes always the strong water and some starters, on the end of the evening is the long exspected food served and after a fast eating everybody is going at home. Strange but India.
Oct. 28th 2010 The long exspected exhibition "Changing Skin" is now on the track. On Nov. 26, opening will be held in Bombay, Coomaraswamy hall, and I'm still struggling with all the technical support that is need to bring my work in a proper form. LEDs has to be fitted, fibre has to be grinded and transports will be organised. Every single work needs long here in India but I'm confident, that it will work well.
Sept 8th 2010 After long time, I'm back in India, overloaded with all my european impressions and oppressions, daily rubbish and so on. Rainy India was exspecting me, and dark clouds covers the sky every day. I like to sit on my terrace, to have a cup of strong black tea, to read in all my books, where were kept away for so long time. I'm working on my new catalogue, try to bring it in a proper form and to includ all my artistic impressions.
Some jury members of a certainly not so importand art event punished me, they didn't gave me the oppurtunity to expose my quite good work. Damn, why do I can't exspect any support of this damish art lovers, or what they might to be. As a lady of 50 years, I have to parade my self as a novice in front of much more elderly jurors, who might were never succesfull in their own art work. This would never happen here in India.
July 9th 2010 Just back of an exhausted, but amazing trip from Kashmir and the Ladhak /Leh area, I came to know of the worsened situation in the Kashmir valley. Some 10 or more young people has been gunned down from strange alienated soldiers and they do not calm down yet. It is indeed a horrible situation in the valley, the Indians where pushing all the time, the Pakistanis as well, and it shows us the full mess, where was produced so many years ago, and even also this mess has a handsign of the American country. They interfere on almost every part on the world, always with a strong nose, where the money would be gained. I detest this habit deeply and I feel very sorry for the poor people, where has to bear this big desaster since so long time.
June 22th 2010 After a hard working day in the outskirts of Pune, where the daily life is much more troubled and whirling then in my quiet Boat Club Road,the full part of clay, that we have worked on, during the day, was fallen down in a big rush, mostly of the body part was completly distroyed. Through the wet season and the moisty clima, it is not possible to work in a proper way. The clay is flushy as a fish in the hand and we have to use lime, to dry him a bit.
Of course, everybody of this surrounding was glaring on us, it seems always, that people haven't to do better things than to glare and make some unuseful coments. But, here in India, you have so many much more people of this sort, and even my Indians get angry sometimes and send them to the hell. Lastly, late in the dusky afternoon, we added the clay again, and, surpriseling and wonder, it fitted much more better then ever! Haf desi lekkin bara kam karnekelie!
June 20th 2010 An alienated swiss politician from SVP (Swiss People Party) has made some straight statements about my sculptures and watercoloures, who are on display at the Helmhaus Museum exhibition. Not enough, that he really unterestimated the full work complex, he even tried to interpret the work in a totally uninteresting way. This guy seems to try to make politics and obvious he use the art field for his statements. But poor Switzerland over all, how shall we artists do big works and great installations, when we are treated so bad and honoured in no way? Such much work that I'm doing all the time, running, working, fighting, thinking and remodelling, and all this without any respect of my impacts. Poor SVP, through lack of thinking, they never will be really succesful, it is always just a powergame, and it is a bad one.
June 14th 2010 Suddenly, monsoon has reached our city, 3 days behind the normal schedule, but after the garam summer heat, nobody exspected, that it would be ever a bit cooler once. Heavy, black clouds are hanging on the sky, even during the day it is dark in our house, drizzling rain sometime, but heavy thunder storms every afternoon. As usual, the wipers are not fixed now, and to drive in the overfloated roads is always an expedition. But somehow, I manage it try to drive slowly to my working place, be patient, when the traffic break down, have just a cup of tea, when nothing is going on and try to overbridge the heavy water cloakes somehow.
May 24th 2010 Next saturday I'll held an opening in Zurich, Switzerland. I'll show some of my Indian works there, a big, fat inflatible, some photografies and a huge flexprint with some alienated cars on it. It is proposed, that I'll speak there, so I try to figure out some relevant speakes, because, artists shouldn't speak about unimportand things. First they should show her signs of importance, of need, maybe, afterwards, they should try to speak, not to explain over all. Explanation has to come through the interacting with the artwork, no word can give you the same feeling, as a picture or a sculptur will bring to you.
But even thinking and reflecting about art can bring a bigger finding to the artists, can improve our searching to a clearness, and a mysteriousness as well.
May 18th 2010 The hotness here is incredible, even for Indians it is too hot, everyday we bear our daily live with more then 40 degree. So you have to work out, how it will be the most agreable way to overbridge the day to the not so cooling night. I for myself like to go to the cinema, and with me some other thousands of Indians. The commercial cinema halls are full packed with people, everybody equiped at least with popcorn and a diet coke. Sometimes I'm going to the studio films at the film archiev cinema hall, there you'll find mostly older people in silky sarees and equiped with sticks. Some young film students will be there as well, to hang around and to chill out. The best thing on this halls is the powerfull air conditioner system, I would even pay for the coolness, that they spend.
But, the monsoon, our lovely exspected natural cooler, is on his way to reach the Andaman Coastal area. Unfortunatelly, they lay some thousand kilometers away, but you can pursue daily the progress that he is doing through the newspaper. I've never exspected, that I would once be interested in the weather forcast in this intens way, as I and many other Indians do it day for day. My working life is also affected, I have to plan, how we will do the work, when the monsoon is reaching us. Then, it will be not possible to work in a proper way, everything will be in a mess, overfloatings everywhere and not at least, do think on the wipers of the car, they always every year break down under the rain pressure. It will be a mess and now, the heat is a mess.
May 3th 2010 The big opening on Helmhaus Museum is over, it was a good event ant good organised as well. 31 sculptors and artists, every single one an individual are we organised in a group for more then 25 years. Do not exspect some friendship or even warm feelings, too many barricades lay between us. But, 25 years working on the same place, with same problems and often same solutions gave a small, small bondage to go another 25 years! Not with everyone, but the most of them!
April 21th 2010 One day before I'll getting fifty, I have had and still have a turbulent situation. For one week now, a volcanic eruption at Iceland smears the full european sky with his ash and deep earthet particels and let felt down the full sky traffic. This has even interrupted me. No fly was going on from India and it was still unclear, whether I would stay here until May or I would get a fly in time, but now, everything was easy, I'm staying in Dubai and I'm waiting for my fly to Zurich. At 3 a.m., we went on from Pune, me and my driver Ranjit, and in 2.5 hours, we reached Bombay as early as ever, at 5.30 a.m. In Bombay you have allways people on the street, they stay and chat or do some work, as it would be late in the afternoon.
I feel fine at the moment, it seems, that the party, wich is scheduled for next saturday can start as planed, me and my collegue Ellen, she is only few hours younger then me. And even I feel good to get fifty, I have never exspected, that I would become fifty once! So much work to do, so many plans are still undone, it is no time to waste anymore!
April 17th 2010 As often, when I stay in our flat in the country, I'm going for a walk through the amazing indian landscape. Due to hot season, nobody was on my way, people like to stay in a cool and sheltered place. But, on the top of the hill, it was such a cool breeze, more then our air conditioner could spend at ever.
Last night, I have had a dream, somewath with a tiger, he laid on my way but it was no action required. During my walk, I've thought, what could be done, when such animal would cross my way. Not fare from here, they have had a incident with a tiger. The village people always recomend to stay at home and to avoid trekking through the mountains. I'm shure, that this animals will be in my dreams only. So each night put India in your dreams!
April 15th 2010 Just back from Bombay, where I stayed for two days and enjoyed the overwhelming art scene with galleries and even a lecturing about kashmiri art. There in Bombay you can just do everything, for every single body is something to do or even to let. Middle class indians mixed with the Dalit people, backpackers in short skirts and pants, what no indian ever would put on his body.
Yesterday was the birthday of Dr. Ambedkar, the legendary leader of the Dalit movement, the untouchables. Since few years, with the new Dalit leader Mayawati from UP, the movement has grown up and inforced the conciousness of this big part of the indian society. For this importand day, they dressed up in such a pretty way, women where prepared with their oily blackened hair and new and mostly white saries or salwar kameez. Mens came in new jeans and shirts in white. It was a beautyful view to see their power and conciousness.
At home then, a monkey from Switzerland nerved me with his uninspirated ideas about an art event and how it should be done. So many donkeys on this world and so many on my way!
April 10th 2010 Today we are staying for 3 long years here in India. First we settled in Bangalore, for a year, with many friends and collegues, now we are living in Pune, a bit more elaborated and in a high middle class surrounding, but still with enthusiastic glares on all this indian ongoings. Many things in behaviours and habits has changed, we are used to handle the daily stuff, the bargainings and beggarings, the sly civilities and the really cordially of the Indians, and they are mostly respectful and very honest.
Over all, it is still a miracoulus life and often I'm staying here in middle and between, of all this wonders and strangness of daily life.
April 9th 2010 I've spent the full day to organize some back office stuff for some exibitions, that I'll hold in Switzerland during the next months. But these small, small exibitions aren't the catch for a bigger step, no, no only local things which are brought up by the curators as it would be as big as a show in the MOMA. So what, I'll always do my work as serious as possible, even when I hold a show in a simple warehouse.
April 8th 2010 Our pretty nice video about some stray dogs from Bangalore is selected for an art film festival. "Night Dogs" was made in 2008 together with my artist friend Rahel Hegnauer from Zurich. At those time, she also stayed in Bangalore, and we met often to have fun and to do unexspected things, such, that I never would do in Switzerland. To lie on her terrace the full lazy afternoon and to chat about some unimportand things, to celebrate the colourstained holy with some of her crazy friends and to produce this video film about stray dogs in the mid night. At this time, the dogs are often agressive and bity, so we went with my car throug the night and tried to find some of this maligned monsters. And so what now, the film is on display!
April 7th 2010 It is hot, hot, hot , more then 40 degree, nobody likes to go to work except me, I always have been working and try to motivate my labourers, without any succes. So even I went to the cinema hall, that nice place for a lazy afternoon, a big box of pop corn and a diet coke mixed with a cool breeze from the ceiling air conditioner.
A new film was on display, LSD, that means Love, Sex, Dhoka. The way to show the film is really new for India, fast shootings with handy camera, everything a bit blurred and rockish how it comes. A sad story, unfortunatelly really true for India, a young couple from different castes, and a father who would'nt allow such a marriage. At last, the couple made the step to the hindu priest by them-self s and were afterwards bloodily beaten to death and even cut off the limbs and the heads from some dacoits, and this all in the name of the own father. Horribly, such stories are a daily bread for the newspaper reader and it lets me helpless in all this wondering and lovely indian stuff.
March 17th 2010 The daily work on my over life sized fibre sculptures is as hard as the daily indian life. Hotness during day and night, no cooling down in our small studio place, where you are unaware to even turn around, as small and sticky it is. Neighbours all the time gatering around, nothing better to do then to glare on us, sometimes they try to support or give a hand, but better let them be away, even nearly every single indian feel to be a selected sculptor, who can do the work as better then we professionals!
I'm working with my two sparring partners on a work complex called "Marked Bodies". I'll try to sculpt some over life sized male and femal bodies, where have different signs of inwritings, as some tattoos or markings on them. The both of sculpters like to think more on some traditionel jewellery on them, they do not even think in such elaborated categories and do not like to speak on this subjects. It is a tricky way to handle all this gendered ideas about sculpting work, but last, it counts the idea of a new creation, the shine and the surface of a work. At least , the desire to creat an outstanding work , burns down many upholstered barricades.
March 12th 2010 Unexspected heavy rainfall over Pune, thunderstorm and blizzards everywhere, a cyclon, who take his way over Maharasthra in a stormy, allmost destroying manner. On my way back in my Ambassador, 2 twowheeler where slipped on the wet, smeary street, nobody cared on them, and even I was paralized to find my way back home, without the use of the broken wipers and with a glary view on the turbulent scenery in front of my car.
Back home, i've immediately posted my watercolours on the wet terrace floor, as the famous Bengal painters, almost 100 years ago. I've tried to prepare my own *washed* paintings. Unfortunately, not succesfull, may be I should change the media, it would be much more easier, to pick up the pictures from my video camera, to prepare some stills and to have the five-o-clock tea easily on the cooled terrace.
February 22th 2010 Even here in Zurich, I'm never without my indian writers. At the moment, I'm deeply rooted in the writing of Madame Shobhaa Dé, a verry distingued lady of older age but neverless in good condition, probably uplifted and botoxed but with a verry sharp tongue. Established in the higher class of Bombay, she gave birth to at least 6 children, don't ask how she managed all the troubles, she must have an army of maids. However, her writing is excelent in amusement and entertainement. She writes about sex and lesbianism as nobody would do it in India, almost deep rooted in some clichés and trapes, but in a way that the reader can't keep the book away. Hardly everything that she discuss, has some strange tones and ideas. She is a verry indian institution, writer of columes and books, and when she let her protagonist couple have sex in a forest hut under the vigilance of a lesbian blackmailer, she let them come to the cupido by Ravels Bolero, a verry westernized cliché of a sexual relationship, it is in a way ok, because ist is just Shobhaa Dè.
Jan. 29th 2010 As always, when I stay at my place in the countryside, I go for a walk through the deep nature of rural India. Today I felt quite a nice morning breeze and the view from the top of the hill was stunning Calm and easy the farmers on their fields, the greenery from the last months has changed in a somewhat brownish environment. Deep below on the highway, I saw some people gathering in front of the company, shouting and noisy, but too far away to be understood.. Soon afterwards, when I had descended and hoped to get my chai and my beedie, I came to know, that a demonstration against lay offs was going on.
It is always somewhat unclear, how and why the people gather and start rioting , but it is always better to avoid such uneasy places. It seems, that one of the worker had passed away through a suicidal incident, and that his comrades claimed for a compensation for his family. Everybody was paralized during this ongoings, the police went on the spot, but mostly they make a ridicule posture. Even today, they were not really able, to guide the traffic, which was totally blocked because of this incident on the highway.
My neighbours tried to travel to Pune, but no car was coming, and the pregnant lady was really nervious and anxious about this incident. So we decided to leave immediatelly with my Ambassador and it was no problem, to do so. I remembered the time of my own pregnancies many years ago, pain was caused by shakings in cars, and I tried to give my best as a driver. But how can you drive smoothly on Indian streets? Holes and pumps and cows and even people, who are roaming and almost unexpectedly block the way. In the end, I managed the transport in a proper way and delivered the couple to their favourite and safe place in Pune. Many Indians were wondering and glaring at us, that a white driver is fluently driving Indian people through the enormous indian traffic.
Jan. 22th 2010 My daily work for my sculptural output includes the contact with my two sculpural assistants, who have done and still do an amazingly precise art craft work. It is incredible, how virtuos they work, and how much knowledge they collected about all kind of clay, plaster and fibre materials and the use of it. And they do it through the process of working, no one of them has any education in that kind of work, it is still passed from the father to the son and so on. On the other hand, you'll find many of young art students and artists, who are unable to work with their own hands, although they have had a proper education in an established art institut, where the use of craftmanship is taught to them very well. It is still common in India, that the craftman's work will be done by craftmen, and the artist is supervising them carefully!
Jan. 20th 2010 Just back in India, I've come to know about the passing away of Jyoti Basu, legendary communist leader of Bengal, 95 year old, even in his death time a donator of his corneas, which would be implanted to two unknown persons. Whether they would see more clearer afterwards, we are unaware. But for shure, he was the principle of the Bengal communists, from 1977 onwards the chief minister and the pacemaker of Bengal`s economic relevance. But most Indians think that Bengal is not relevant now, as it was, when the British established their capital there and when the Bengal renaissance with music and art interventions made furore through the whole world. In recent days, only die-hard romantics or wide-eyed foreigners continue to admire this decaying megacity with the charm of a lazy exotic afternoon.
Jyoti's communists splitted soon after the Independence, and the more maoistic oriented wing took his way away from the parliamentary work to the armed fight in the deep forests of Bengal and Orissa.. This was not Basu's choice, the old Bengal tiger liked to be a part of the growing up economical empowerment and as a somewhat aristocratic commie he enjoyed his life in Kolkata's winter and cooled down his heels in London during the hot summers of the mosquito city..
Dec. 12th 2009 Yesterday afternoon, I' ve moved to the country, around 50 km from Pune. This place is fully packed with small farm houses, the families are owner of 1 cow and 1 water bull, they work in their fields and harvest their crops. At the moment, the cane crop is harvested and the streets are full packed with bullocks. A dusty afternoon fell in a more dustier, enchanted night light, a soft atmosphere took over.
In the morning then, noise as allways all over India, horns and shoutings, and the mother living in slum hut next door, who tries to upbring her children well. I didn't saw my budgies today, normally, they fly early in the morning through the air ad make a halt on my balcony. As a single-child, I've had many years some different budgies, almost everytime sitting in the cages and whistle in a boring way. This amazing bluish, greenish and seldom yellow ones, are always in a good mood, nothing boring on them and full of hope, in a way.
Later on, I went to a walk on a small mountain near by, no Indian would do this without any purpose, so it was just me, the water bulls and the herdsman, even he is always a bit wondering about me. Afterwards, I've had my chai and the beedi, at the small tea stall in front of the company. It has no many better options to waste the time, which should be spent on art producing.
Dec. 10th 2009 It is still not common here in India, to drive an Ambassador car, even a white one, as a white coloured, middle-aged woman. First of all, this car was always an offical one, mostly the Congress policians used them and drove with their families through dusty, narrow streets. In recent times, with a globalized market and the possibilities of Japanes or German cars, the desires changed and it is more eshtyl to go for a fancy model. Most of the people do not have to think on such a problem, it is still no money there to bear such dreams.
I for my self fell immediatelly in love, when I came to India in 2007 and saw this unexpected, wonderful car droving as a ship through the bustled and crowded streets of Bangalore. It is a daily battle on the street, meter for meter a fighting for space, and suddenly a fluid forthcoming as you never would expect it in any western city. I'm always wondering, how easy it is, to get from A to B in such a messy, apparently unpredictable situation.
Actually I'm working on a new sculpture project, a small figure is already done, somewhat between a Kali and an independent woman. Kali is in the hindu faith the godess for the renewing and the destroying, but I do not focus on this religious symbols, although one is always confronted with this subject. I know that for example the Dalits, the untouchables, wouldn't worship such a lady, they have their own mother godesses to worship, and me for my -self, I prefer to believe in my-self and my environment. So I'm still on the way through the morning traffic rush, no more time for big philosophical ideas, the stark Indian life is calling.